[Request for Payment of Variable Housing Allowance]

B-218847: Aug 1, 1985

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The Air Force requested a decision on whether one of its service members stationed in Italy would be eligible to receive a variable housing allowance because his dependent daughter resided in a high housing cost area in the United States. The service member contended that his wife should not be considered as his dependent since they were legally separated. GAO found that the service member would be entitled to a variable housing allowance if all of his dependents returned to the United States prior to his return; however, since the member's wife, who remains his dependent as long as they are married, resided in Italy, all of his dependents had not returned to the United States. Accordingly, the service member was ineligible to receive a variable housing allowance.